Marijuana possession, sale, and manufacture are regulated by both state and federal law. In Tennessee, marijuana is classified as a Schedule VI substance, which means that it has a low potential for dependency or abuse. However, despite this classification, Tennessee has not legalized marijuana for medical purposes and imposes harsh penalties for marijuana possession, use, and sales. While not covered in this article, it is a crime to drive under the influence of marijuana in Tennessee.
No. Tennessee is one of the few states where marijuana remains an illegal controlled substance for all purposes. Neither recreational nor medicinal use is allowed.
Products containing low-THC cannabidiol or CBD oil (less than 0.9% tetrahydrocannabinol) are excluded from the definition of marijuana but only if prescribed by a doctor for an approved medical condition.
(Tenn. Code §§ 39-17-402, 39-17-415 (2022).)
It is a crime to possess marijuana in Tennessee. It is also illegal to "causally exchange" (that is, to give away or sell) up to and including ½ of an ounce of marijuana. Penalties vary according to the conviction, and increased penalties apply to offenses involving a minor. In addition to the penalties described below, a judge may order the defendant to participate (at the defendant's expense) in a drug offender school, perform community service hours, or both.
Simple possession and exchange offenses are Class A misdemeanors. For a first conviction, penalties include up to a year in jail, a fine of at least $250 and as much as $2,500, or both. The same potential penalties apply for a second conviction, except that the minimum fine is $500. And for a third conviction, the minimum fine rises to $1,000.
(Tenn. Code §§ 39-17-418, 39-17-419, 39-17-428, 39-35-111 (2022).)
It is illegal to cultivate or sell marijuana or hashish (or possess marijuana or hashish with the intent to do so) in Tennessee. Penalties vary according to the amount cultivated or sold, with increased penalties for sales to a minor or within a drug-free school zone.
(Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 39-17-417, 39-17-418, 39-17-428, 39-35-111 (2022).)
It is illegal in Tennessee to manufacture, sell, or use drug paraphernalia (or possess paraphernalia with the intent to do so). Paraphernalia includes items used in growing, harvesting, processing, selling, storing, or using marijuana. Penalties for possession include a minimum fine of $150 and up to $2,500, up to one year in jail, or both. Selling paraphernalia may be punished with a fine of up to $3,000, between one and six years in prison, or both.
(Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 39-17-402, 39-17-425, 39-17-428, 39-35-111 (2022).)
A stamp tax is a tax imposed on certain types of transactions that requires a stamp to be purchased and attached either to the item sold or to an instrument documenting the transaction.
In Tennessee, those who buy, transport, or import marijuana into Tennessee are required to pay a stamp tax and place the stamp (proof of payment) onto the contraband. However, because the possession of marijuana is illegal, people typically don't pay the stamp tax. When you are convicted for possession, you will also be liable for payment of the unpaid taxes ($3.50 for each gram or portion of a gram of marijuana, or $350 per marijuana plant). (Tenn. Code Ann. § 67-4-2803 (2022).)
If you've been charged with a marijuana-related offense, consult an experienced criminal defense attorney. A local criminal defense attorney can guide you through the criminal legal process and tell you how cases like yours tend to be handled by prosecutors and judges in your courthouse.